Herbal Plants and Medicines
During the middle ages, herbal plants and medicines were a hugely important part of life. Much more than an add or a supplement like today, herbs and plants were all the medicine they had. In the 5th and 6th centuries, every house would have its own herb garden, full of lots of different plants to help a variety of ailments.
These home grown medicines were the only available and therefore a necessary part of family life. Generally, the ‘art’ of knowing which herbs cured what would be passed down through family lines, a mother would tell her daughter and she in turn would tell her own child.
Particular women in villages who had an extensive knowledge of herbal medicine would become known as ‘wise women’. This eventually led to their downfall hundreds of years later when they would be accused of being witches. But during the early 5th and 6th centuries, their knowledge was respected and they were thought to be the village equivalent of a doctor or nurse.
The use of herbal medicine dates back thousands of years at least to the ancient Egyptians who were known to use garlic and opium for medicinal purposes. The ancient Greek doctor Hippocrates, known as the father of western medicine advocated the use of herbs.
These preserved ancient writings mean that in the middle ages it was often monasteries that had the best herbal gardens and were the experts in using them for medicinal purposes.
In Denny Bradbury’s new novel ‘Borvo’ she explores how a young peasant boy uses his knowledge of herbal plants and medicines to come to the aid of the great King Arthur.
Denny Bradbury’s latest novel ‘Borvo‘ will be available in both print and as an e-book.
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